STAND Fanshawe “Battles” at The Roxbury for Rwanda and Darfur

The Fanshawe College chapter of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur is hosting a “battle of the bands” at The Roxbury on Wednesday, April 7 to help raise awareness about genocide and Darfur, where some 500,000 people have been killed and millions more have been displaced since 2003. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission at the door is $5, and drinks are $3.25.

April 7 is the date when people all over the world commemorate the Rwandan Genocide, which, in 1994, claimed the lives of some 1,000,000 in just 100 days. Rich Hitchens, an instructor in the School of Language and Liberal Studies and the founder and president of the Canadian Centre for Genocide Education, works with the students in STAND Fanshawe, and some of those students will be traveling with him to Rwanda this summer.

“There are a number of very remarkable students in STAND Fanshawe, and I am thrilled that some of them will be part of the trip,” said Hitchens.

Jessica AllosseryOne of those truly remarkable students is Jessica Allossery, she will be one of the performers in the “Battle of the Bands.” Allossery had her eyes opened during an exchange to Brazil.

“It was a life-altering experience that opened my eyes to poverty in the world, and I felt an overwhelming guilt and urge to do something about it,” explained Allossery.

Allossery taught herself guitar during her first month at Fanshawe, and she started writing her first songs four months later.

“I didn't want to write songs solely on typical issues like love and sad break-ups,” said Allossery.

Allossery's anthropology and sociology courses at Fanshawe have given her lots of new material for her songs.

“I wanted to teach the world what I was learning so that the people listening to my music would be compelled to make a change themselves.”

Allossery is a member of the Executive of STAND Fanshawe, and she is one of the students who will be traveling to Rwanda this summer. In fact, Allossery, who is also a budding filmmaker, is going to be filming an independent documentary while in Rwanda. Allossery will be going to Rwanda while spending time in South Africa, where she will be working as part of the Student Work Abroad Program.

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